A Tribute to Balu Mahendra
Renowned filmmaker and cinematographer Balu Mahendra, 75 passed away today at a private hospital in Chennai following a cardiac arrest. He suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where he breathed his last, sources said. He is survived by his wife and son Gowrishankar Mahendra. We express our deep condolences to the family.
Born on May 20 1939, he started his career as a cinematographer and later went onto direct memorable movies including Veedu and the award winning Moondram Pirai which was dubbed into Hindi as Sadma starring Sridevi and Kamal Haasan. Sridevi has tweeted, "Deeply saddened on the demise of Balu Mahendra. The legacy of his creations Sadma and Moondaram Pirai will live on. My condolences to the family"
The last film he directed was Thalai Muraigal which released recently and depicts the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson, in which he played the role of a protagonist.
Balu Mahendra started his career as a cinematographer for the Malayalam film Nellu in 1974. This won the Best Cinematographer Award from the Kerala government. He turned director in 1977 through the Kannada film Kokila and went on to direct over 20 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. Veedu (1988) and Vanna Vanna Pookkal (1992) won National Awards for the Best Feature Film in Tamil and Sandhya Raagam (1990) won the award for Best Film on Family Welfare.
A R Rahman, Madhur Bhandarkar and others took to social networking platforms Twitter and Facebook to express their grief.
This is what they have said:
A R Rahman: Dear Balu Mahendra sir, thank you for being an inspiring visual poet, for directing such life changing Tamil movies. You have certainly been an inspiring stepping stone of creativity for many others who came later... May god bless your soul!
Madhur Bhandarkar: (I'm) sad to hear the demise of master of Innovative camera style, natural lighting, (and) maker of my favourite Hindi film Sadma. Balu Mahendra, RIP
Ravi K. Chandran: RIP Balu Mahendra sir. (This is) greatest loss for our Indian film industry.